Des Moines, Iowa, Jun 05, 2012 -- Bill Menner, USDA Rural Development State Director in Iowa, announces Dennis Henke’s retirement after 34 years of federal service. His last day with USDA Rural Development was June 1, 2012.
The results of Henke’s hard work can be seen all over Iowa, especially in the northeast counties of Allamakee, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Chickasaw, Clayton, Delaware, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek.
“During his career Dennis has always been driven to get as much funding and assistance as possible to the communities he serves,” Menner said. “Whether it is a new fire truck, emergency services equipment, childcare center or new water system, you can see his fingerprints in hundreds of Iowa communities.”
For the last 23 years Henke worked in the agency’s New Hampton and Waverly offices helping with hundreds of city water and sewer systems and community-facility projects in northeast Iowa.
The expansion of the Central Iowa Water Association into northeast Iowa with a water treatment plant in Waverly and transmission line to Greeley in northeast Delaware County were notable projects for Henke. He also enjoyed working with leaders in Winneshiek County on sewer systems.
Henke’s most rewarding community facility project was the Garden View Assisted Living Center in Monona, one of the first city-owned assisted living facilities in the state and a project that truly brought the community together.
“City leaders worked so hard to make this project a reality,” Henke said. “It is extremely satisfying to work on a project that a community wanted so badly.”
In the last few years Henke had an exceptionally large caseload including managing USDA Rural Development’s involvement in the expansion and construction of critical access hospital projects in Guttenberg and Sumner. The Guttenberg Municipal Hospital was a $17 million renovation and addition to the existing facility and the Community Memorial Hospital in Sumner has just started construction of an $18 million new replacement facility.
“Dennis handled these two large projects and still kept all the other smaller loan and grant projects moving forward,” Menner added. “He did an outstanding job juggling multiple applications and not losing focus on all the communities he serves.”
Henke’s career with the USDA started in October of 1978 after a brief stint with the U.S. Small Business Administration. During his USDA career Henke worked in Storm Lake, Sheldon, Washington, New Hampton and Waverly.
USDA Rural Development is an equal opportunity lender with a variety of direct and guaranteed rural credit programs involving single and multi-family housing, community facilities, water and sewer development and business and cooperative programs.
This past year USDA Rural Development’s investment in Iowa helped create or retain more than 1,900 jobs, aided 2,000 families in buying their own homes and assisted more than 80 communities as they made improvements to their facilities, services and infrastructure.
USDA Rural Development has 11 offices across the state to serve the 1.7 million Iowans living in rural areas and communities. Office locations include a State Office in Des Moines, along with Area Offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly.
Further information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available by calling (515) 284-4663 or by visiting the agency’s web site at www.rurdev.usda.gov/ia.
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